Nowadays, Financial services brands are even more present than some decades ago. For financial services we mean banks, lenders, investment houses, hedge funds, real estate, brokers, currency exchanges. And any company that is involved in the business of dealing with monetary transactions and financial wellbeing.
With more active companies in the finance industry and a similarity of services offered by many of these businesses. It has become urgent for these institutions to identify the values that determine the basis upon which customers choose them among other financial services.
Financial services and emotions
Consumers are human beings and have emotions that can be influenced. Working on branding optimization must create a connection that attaches consumers and financial institutions together. The objective of working on optimizing the branding must be focused on empowering the relationship between any financial services brands and their customers. This in order to protect the brand against bad advertising or unpopular online comments.
In contrast to companies that offer tangible products, financial services brands need to really work to connect with customers and look forward to building a positive customer experience with the aim to gain their trust in the services that they are contracting and even more importantly in the investments they are making.
Financial services branding in the digital age
In this line it is crucial that companies working in this sector pay real attention to an optimal financial services branding, in which many values such as loyalty, trust, friendly usability of platforms and closeness to the brand, are the most important values to consider, and even doing so, it is not enough. More and more companies are currently aware of this need, but they also need to look for their differentiated added value proposition. And also express it with a clear message, brand personality and mission statement. This with the aim to engage with their customers, and especially so when addressing the new and super-informed generation of users.
Key to success
That said, in this era, information is uber accessible and users can access it instantly to know more about the brand approaching them and what people feel about it. As this new communication is bi-directional, technology has developed more strict and complex scenarios with high expectations for the brand from their about-to-be clients.
So, what are the keys to success for a financial brand strategy?
There is not a magic formula, but for sure there are some important points that brands should not underestimate:
1. Focus in offering an excellent Customer service experience
This is the main point of focus when building long term relationships with customers and enhancing their retention. If a client has constant bad communications with the brand and feels like the entity is not paying attention to their problems or offering quick enough solutions. Customers might choose to take their business elsewhere. It is important to offer diverse customer service channels, where clients can contact the brands in an easy way. In the end, the financial industry is connected with people’s well-being and their money, and it is a very delicate field of work.
2. Your employees, your main ambassadors
It is fundamental that employees become the main ambassadors of a brand. Employees need to understand and love the company or brand they work for. And understand the purpose of the company. This will lead to very knowledgeable employees and will increase their kindness when they interact with clients.
3. Corporate branding for an intangible service
A strong corporate brand needs to set values which result in positive perceptions, making the intangible, tangible. In order to achieve this, all the interactions, digital and physical, that the brand and its employees have with their customers must always be focused on generating positive customer experiences, with a set of purposes and messages aiming for engagement and resulting in loyalty. In both digital and traditional environments, it is mandatory to have a logo that the consumer can relate with and that represents all these positive emotions the brand portrays. Hence, a well designed logo is a strong weapon to achieve great levels of engagement.
4. Branding for every stakeholder group
Corporate branding affects different stakeholder groups. Hence the importance of in-line messages about the brand’s identity being constant for each stakeholder group. The Marketing team should constantly review the brand perception with every stakeholder (external and internal) and develop a brand training only with internal stakeholders such as: employees and shareholders, in order to have updated ideas about how the brand is being perceived by each group, get feedback and keep a clear direction on how the brand wants to be positioned.
5. Work on a mission and vision to differentiate
Any brand needs to work on a unique purpose. Financial institutions in particular can adopt important roles in people’s lives and also in societies affecting economic affairs, such as global investments and developments, industry stocks and more. What do all these issues have in common? People, money and well being. And this already makes it a sensible topic in which the brand can create an emotional mission and vision as part of the brand’s identity.
6. Report and measure results
To be and keep being successful the brand needs to track how their branding is working. And to do so, we all need to ask ourselves the following questions: Do people perceive my brand as I have intended it ? What do I need to change? What should I keep working on? This is not only measured with the number of sales, but also with real engagement. It is very important to know the lifetime of clients, constantly listen to their feedback. And get to know if they recommend the brand’s services to their relatives or friends? Financial brands must try the following actions:
- One-on-one meetings with their consumers
- Reporting of customer service number of complaints
- Number of cancellations and churn rates calculations
- Social media interactions
- Positive and negative balance
If you are interested in creating a branding positioning for your financial company or looking to improve your existing branding plan. We can gladly help you from the beginning, giving you advice and creating a strategic plan to improve your brand awareness, identity and reputation.
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